The 2012/2013 academic year saw a drop in the number of candidates applying to universities, compared to a rise in students applying to academic colleges, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released on Monday.

The study, “Applications to First Degree Studies at Universities and Academic Colleges (2012/2013),” reflects data accumulated by the CBS from a number of sources including institutions of higher education, information on the demographic background of students as well as psychometric test scores.

In the 2012/2013 academic year 29,749 candidates applied to universities, compared with 36,383 in 2007/2008, marking an annual decrease of 3.9 percent in applicants over the past five years. In comparison, academic colleges saw a rise in applications from 36,383 in 2007/2008 to 45,482 in 2012/2013, a 3.5% annual increase over the past five years.

The study also showed that roughly 6,500 prospective students applied to two or more universities, and some 4,600 students applied to two or more academic colleges. Of those accepted, 67.9% got into their first choice of university; 73.6% of applicants were accepted to their first choice colleges.

According to the findings, the range of fields offered to students at universities is far greater than those of academic colleges.

However, in the fields of law and business there were many more spots available for students in colleges – 5,200 spaces, compared to 1,300 at universities.

Breaking down higher education admissions into subjects also showed which fields had the highest acceptance rates: literature, 92.7%; East Asian studies, 91.3%; and Israeli history, 90.5% in universities; compared to information systems, 93.6%; sociology and anthropology, 89%; and Israel studies, 87.7% at academic colleges.

The fields with the lowest acceptance rates in universities included economics and MBA programs, where less than half, 49.5%, of applicants were accepted; computer sciences, with 48.6% accepted; English language and literature; 47.7%; emergency medicine, 34.7%, and general medicine, 32.5%; as well as dentistry, with only 27.4% of applicants accepted.

In contrast, the fields in which college supply was lower than demand included pharmaceuticals, with 43.9% of applicants accepted; archeology, 38.9%; fashion design, 26.5%; and interior design, 23.3%.

According to the study, there was a significant par (80.4 points) in the average psychometric exam scores between university students (618.7) and college students (538.3).

The most selective subjects for acceptance by universities based on psychometric scores included general medicine, with an average psychometric score of 740. Other selective subjects included: cognitive sciences (735), dentistry (704), electrical engineering (691), physics (690), law (679) and space and aeronautical engineering (670).

The study also broke down demand in certain fields by gender and population. Theoretical education and research, dietetics, textile design, dance, jewelry and fashion design, and interior design were found to be almost exclusively female fields, whereas Hebrew language and literature, English, medical sciences, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry and nursing were more popular among the Arab population.

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